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dredging increases coral diseases

Dredging increases coral reef disease. Photo: Ed Robert

In a first of its kind study, researchers have linked dredging to more than a two fold increase of coral disease in nearby reef communities. The study was conducted around Barrow Island of the west coast of Australia by James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science. The turbidity increase around dredging sites affects corals by reducing the light available for photosynthesis while the increased sediment deposition on the corals can interfere with feeding. The study was conducted

no area of ocean untouched by human litter

A new study published shows there seems to be no area of the ocean left untouched by human litter. The study (the largest single survey to date) used 588 video clips from 32 sites collected by unmanned submarine vehicles doing geological mapping and marine biology studies; everywhere there was footage they found litter. The study included some of the deepest most remote locations around Europe, including the Charlie-Gibbs Fracture Zone. The majority of litter found was softer plastics (like shopping

some marine bacteria produce flame retardant-like chemicals

Some marine bacteria produce potent persistent organic compounds that are nearly identical to flame retardant chemicals.

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a widely distributed group of marine bacteria that produce compounds nearly identical to toxic man-made fire retardants. The toxic compounds are known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), a subgroup of brominated flame retardants that are combined into foam, textiles and electronics to raise the temperature at which the products will burn.” more at ucsdnews.ucsd.edu